A Utah elementary school instructed students to “say yes” when another student asks them to dance during a Valentine’s Day party, according to a Monday report.
Kanesville Elementary School in Weber County, Utah, implemented the policy. Mother Natalie Richard challenged the rule after her sixth grade daughter said she “has to accept” solicitations to dance during the party, reported Fox News.
“There are many other ways to teach children how to be accepting than with a social dance,” said Richard. “Sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say ‘yes’; sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say ‘no.'”
But the school did not see it that way, claiming that the policy to accept all dance invitations “promote[s] kindness.” Kanesville principal Justin Willie suggested that the dance had the same structure for a long time and that the school had never received complaints about it in the past.
Kanesville Elementary structures the dance by telling each student to choose five other students with whom they want to dance, according to Fox 13 Salt Lake City. The Weber School District said that if a student expresses discomfort with a student who has asked them to dance, “that’s certainly something that can be addressed with that student and parents.”
“Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying I can’t say ‘no’ to a boy,” Richard told Fox 13. “That’s the message kids are getting.”
“We certainly understand the concern and would never want to promote a mindset where students don’t feel like they have the option to say no,” said the Weber School District in a press release obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We have advised our schools to eliminate any sort of language in the instructions surrounding these dances that would suggest a student must dance with another student.”
“Although we still want to strongly encourage inclusion, kindness, and mutual respect, we feel this
change will be of greater benefit to all students who choose to attend these dances.”
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